Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman doesn’t have to worry about losing his closest ally for a while: The company announced this morning that COO Thomas Dooley signed a new contract that will run an additional two years to the end of 2018.

Many Viacom investors may breathe a sigh of relief at this news. Dooley’s widely seen as a level-headed force at a company that’s in Wall Street’s dog house — its shares have lost nearly 41% of their value over the last 12 months but are up 3.5% in early trading today.

Image (25) Tom-Dooley__140507185359-150x150.jpg for post 721186Companies frequently extend contracts for prized execs more than a year before they expire. With the COO’s previous deal set to end in December, some wondered recently whether the lack of an early renewal meant that his future there was not secure.

Dooley’s compensation package in 2015 was valued at $29.4 million, down 15.9% from 2014. He was the 10th highest paid executive at the publicly traded media and entertainment companies we tracked in 2014, the most recent year with complete compensation filings.

Viacom says in an SEC filing today that there’s “no change in compensation” in the new employment contract.

Dooley’s been COO since 2010, but his association with the entertainment company goes back to 1980. He and Dauman created a private equity firm, DND Capital Partners, after 1999 when Viacom bought CBS and its then- CEO Mel Karmazin pushed them out.

Dooley and Dauman returned in 2006 when Sumner Redstone, who controls 80% of the shares, forced out Viacom’s then-CEO Tom Freston.

Dooley “has done an excellent job in helping to reorient Viacom’s operations to succeed in the changing media environment, spearheading the creation of the industry’s best-in-class data-focused advertising products, and driving effectiveness and efficiency throughout the company,” Dauman says. “His continued leadership by my side will be a key factor in Viacom’s success in the years ahead.”